EXCEPT in the Soumak and the Khilim, which have the flat stitch, there are only two kinds of knotting used in Oriental rugs. These knots are called the Persian or Sinna, and the Turkish or Ghiordes.
In the Persian manner of knotting there are more knots to the square inch than in the Turkish, and the result is a finer surface. Often the Persian knotting is so fine that the surface of the fabric is like velvet. The Persian knot is tied in such a manner that one end of the pile yarn extends from every spacing that separates the warp threads. It is made in such a way that a noose is formed, which tightens as the yarn is pulled. Occasionally it is turned in the opposite direction, and executed from left to right. In this case two threads of yarn are employed, this of course making the pile twice as thick as in the other.
The Turkish or Ghiordes knot has the yarn twisted about the warp threads in such a manner that the two raised ends of the pile alternate with every two threads of the warp.
Experts have spent much time and invested much capital in the endeavor to make the rug industry as perfect as possible. Judging from the examples of India rugs I have seen,some with a seven-by-six knot, others with a sixteen-by-sixteen knot, I am convinced that the beauty, durability, and artistic effects produced by the efforts of the manufacturers will be appreciated more and more. From the fact that the best-known firms in the rug business in New York, Chicago, and other cities in the United States, and several leading firms in England, are sponsors for the present rug industry in India, it may naturally be inferred that it is prosecuted with skill and care.
The different stitches made are as follows : seven by eight, or fifty-six hand-tied knots to the square inch ; eight by eight, or sixty-four knots to the square inch ; ten by ten, or one hundred knots to the square inch twelve by twelve, or one hundred and forty-four knots to the square inch ; and sixteen by sixteen, or two hundred and fifty-six knots to the square inch. These finer stitches are made in the very best examples produced by the finest Persian weavers. A specimen recently shown me was an exact reproduction of the rug owned by Prince Alexis Lobanow-Rostowsky, in which the stitch was the sixteen by sixteen. It was made in one of the factories in Kashmir.
The famous rug of Ardebil in the South Kensington Museum has three hundred and eighty hand-tied knots to the square inch, or thirty-three million in the whole fabric.
( Originally Published Late 1900’s )